Latest: Cleanup, investigation continue at site of deadly Santee plane crash
SAN DIEGO — UPS identified a driver killed in the plane crash in Santee ahead of a moment of silence for him Tuesday.
A UPS spokesperson said Steve Krueger was highly regarded by many, including neighbors near Jeremy and Greencastle streets where the plane crashed Monday afternoon. Surveillance video showed the twin-engine C340 Cessna nosedive before it hit a UPS truck and two homes.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of our driver Steve Krueger, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” UPS spokesperson Matt Skeen said. “Those who knew Steve said he took pride in his work, and his positive attitude and joyful laugh made the hardest days a little lighter. Steve was held in high regard and will be greatly missed.”
A moment of silence took place at 12:14 p.m. to honor Krueger and his family and flags were at half staff at the Kearny Mesa UPS facility.
Wendy Adelstein, a close friend and tenant of Krueger’s, said she lived next to him for 12 years. She is still in shock that he is never returning home.
“It was sad,” she said. “There’s no words to it. What kind of random event happens like this?”
Adelstein described Krueger as “such a nice guy” and said he would be missed.
“For this to happen to Steve, the guy with the great laugh, the great smile and the guy who would just go out of his way to do anything for you,” she said. “I guess God wanted him back.”
At the crash site, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at 8 a.m. and began surveying the wreckage. Road closures are expected in the area through Thursday as they gather evidence in their search for the cause of the crash.
The plane was owned by Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist at Yuma Regional Medical Center in the southwestern portion of Arizona, the hospital said in a statement. Das was also killed in the crash, but local law enforcement have not confirmed that he was the pilot of the plane.